The wave of teacher strikes hit California’s Bay Area on May 20, when teachers walked out of their classrooms in the school district covering Union City and South Hayward for the first time in the district’s history. About 600 educators, represented by the New Haven Teachers Association, joined picket lines outside their schools to demand pay raises over two years totaling nearly 7 percent.
The New Haven Unified school district cut about $3.9 million from the budget for the 2018–19 school year and has proposed cutting an additional $4 million in the year ahead. Though the district’s teachers are the highest paid in the county, they must pay their full health care premiums, which union members say can cost as much as $20,000 a year.
“You can say all you want about being high paid, but if it’s not enough to live on, I’m not sure what that means,” said Brenda Moreno, a resource specialist at Union City’s James Logan HS who participated in a picket.
While the district claims it has no funds for a raise, teachers point to a budget surplus and plans to give managers a pay hike of up to 6 percent.
The strike was in its seventh day as the New York Teacher went to press.
East Bay Times, May 20 and 22
NBC East Bay, May 20 and 28